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3.6 out of 5 stars59
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 25 September 2014
Works fine and item received with no damage. Delivered on time too :)
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on 17 December 2006
Story: 2/5 - Extras: 3/5

"The Web Planet" is an example of the ambition of 1960s "Doctor Who" far outreaching its means to deliver. For the first time, the producers of the show decided to create a world where the only humanoid characters would be the TARDIS crew: everybody else would be giant insects. To this end, the design team go overboard in their creation of the alien world, where the sky is black even during the day, and the five distinct types of creature that we encounter as the story unfolds.

Unfortunately, the story is incredibly slow-moving and is a classic example of 1960s stories being spun out over far too many episodes. "The Web Planet" runs at six episodes when it should have been capped at four. The alien costumes made action scenes difficult to film and the results are therefore sparse and unconvincing. Overall, the sets, creatures and action are too obviously fake, and I would suggest that you have to be a truly dedicated fan of the series to overlook these obvious flaws (more so than usual).

The production notes tell of how, for the first time, even the children watching the show were unconvinced by the costumes, particularly the comical, under-ground dwelling Optera. None the less, you have to admire the incredible ambition shown by the production team in the creation of this story, and the innovative touches such as smearing the camera lenses with Vaseline to make the scenes set on the planet's surface appear more alien and peculiar. And, like many a "Doctor Who" story, "The Web Planet" has a great first episode with some genuinely creepy moments.

I rate the story only two out of five because its very apparent weaknesses mean that one can't realistically describe it as good television. However, I do gain a certain enjoyment from it when I manage to suspend my disbelief. We also get to see Martin Jarvis playing against type, but somehow also completely in type, as the arrogant moth-like Menoptra leader Hilio, which is entertaining. Special features are average, with a commentary by producer Verity Lambert, director Richard Martin and stars William Russell and Martin Jarvis, an interesting documentary on the making of the story and a few other worthwhile snippets. DVD-ROM users can also view the complete 1965 Doctor Who Annual.
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on 30 September 2014
With the Zarbi and the Menoptera, what's not to love?
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on 3 March 2014
A great story Starring Mr William Hartnell as Dr Who,the Dr and his team arrive on a planet,full of insects,played by actors.

In those days the television people used imagination instead of special effects,to tell a story,
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on 29 November 2005
When I first watched this, I could hardly believe a lot of what I was watching. This has the feel to it of watching a two-and-a-half-hour long amateur play where everyone involved is on psychotropic drugs. However, despite the flaws I will enumerate that combine to mar this on a first viewing, it is a serial which, once watched, would have intrigued an eventual purchase had I not done so before.
There is no question whatsover that this Doctor Who at its most loopily surreal, and much of that surreality comes from the actual circumstances then surrounding this serial. Since the extensive sets drained every last bit of financial and technical resources for a serial its producers thought would never air again, they made the most of it by deliberately protracting the first two episodes and stretching the plot in the middle, so that it is arguably an hour too long, and some of the convolutions of plot in the middle, in particular, stop you caring at first for what exactly is going on. The actors playing the ant-men, wearing black leggings and bulky papier-maché style suits, could not see inside their costumes, and had to be guided where to move by the cast during the lousily choreographed fight scenes, but it doesn't stop one at one point from almost crashing down into the camera. The grub-form versions of the butterfly-like Menoptra have grunt-like Jamaican style accents and the way they hop around in what are obviously sleeping bags rouses hilarity each time they appear and recite their laughable dialogue. There are also larvae creatures which are obviously being wheeled around on trolleys, and the photographer had the bright idea of creating a supposedly dream-like effect by smearing Vaseline, at random moments, into the camera, thus creating a blurred distortion effect that's reminiscent of watching the screen through a misted fishbowl, which somewhat undermines the obvious care which the restorers have gone through.
However, there is much to enjoy here, and not just in the excellent extras, which I would rate a star above the serial, on those occasions everything truly works. Some of the set designs, though obviously created out of paste and cardboard, are quite beautiful in their way, in particular the Pit of Needles, and some of the later dialogue is exquisite, particularly that of Martin Jarvis, who gives a quite extraordinary, almost Shakespearean performance that gives a much needed poetic quality to the serial's second half. I wouldn't recommend this much to anyone who's not an archival collector, but I'd recommend this DVD to those who would be content with the fact that this is an acquired taste.
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on 22 August 2014
Dr who is the best!
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on 5 October 2015
brilliant thanks
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on 5 November 2014
well pleased
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on 12 July 2015
100% thanks
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on 19 October 2005
THE WEB PLANET seems a rather odd choice for a release from the original
series at this particular time. This year, 2005, was when the series made
its popular return to Saturday night family viewing with a revamped TARDIS,
Doctor and expensive special effects. How odd then that this cheap looking,
over-long and occasionally risible serial from 1965 should have been chosen
to represent the early years of the program. One imagines that any new (and
especially younger) converts to DR WHO fandom will be mystified as to the
appeal of this piece of 40 year old TV that literally creaks its way through
6 episodes. Surely, if there were a story that showed off the William
Hartnell period in a more favourable light there are a number of more
suitable candidates available for release?
Doubtless, there will be some die-hard fans who will adore WEB PLANET and
will point out that the story is the only one in the history of televised
WHO that has no human-like characters in its cast, apart from the Doctor and
his time-travelling companions. They will draw attention to the fact that
given the shocking budgetary and time restrictions that the production had
to work under, the finished result was inevitable. They will also point out
that the imaginative vision of writer Bill Strutton shines out to those
receptive enough to see. Personally, I don't. Whilst it's evident that a lot
of sweat, and even love went into bringing the script to life, even by the
standards of 1965, the story is painfully slow. It's too long by at least 2
episodes, and there are just too many rough edges to allow the viewer to
suspend disbelief - for example the constant wooden sound as characters move
around the (admittedly large seeming) sets, and obvious foul-ups such as the
hilarious moment when a Zarbi runs like a headless chicken slap-bang
straight into a camera!
The design work is actually not bad. The Zarbi and Menoptra must have looked
good on paper. But when they move around are sometimes unintentionally
amusing, though full-marks to Roslyn De Winter's attempts to choreograph the
fey movements of the butterfly-like Menoptra. The subterranean dwelling
Optera are far less successful and with their hopping about as if they were
participating in the primary school sack race, as well as their strange
guttural accents (I'm never quite sure if it's French or Latin American in
origin)they lower the credibility of any scene in which they appear.
Having said that, I do rather admire the work of the BBC Restoration team
that has used various techniques (including the vidFIRE process) to make the
episodes look more like their appearance on original transmission. Also the
extras on the disc are generally very good. The documentary: TALES OF ISOP
features some fascinating reminiscences about the story's creation and
recording. The photo gallery is interesting since it displays some
incongruous and amusing shots of Menoptra in half costume and Zarbi in
strange places, including rather wonderfully: a bus stop! The technically
excellent reading by William Russell of David Whitaker's short story THE
LAIR OF ZARBI SUPREMO is a nice DR WHO curiosity, but for me, the tale
itself is as kitsch and idiosyncratic as the disc's main feature.
Overall then, the disc is a little uneven. The extras are rather more of a
reason to buy than the serial, which despite its grand ambitions never quite
manages to emerge as triumphantly or beautifully as it would like from the
chrysalis case of its limitations.
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